Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-02-15
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Center security and licensing at issue
LGBTQ Youth Series from Windy City Times
by Bill Healy
2012-12-19

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Center on Halsted hires its armed guards through Walsh Security, a private company that employs off-duty policemen and other law enforcement. The owner of the company is a Chicago Police officer, Tom Walsh.

As a policeman, Walsh doesn't need a license to guard the Center himself. His police credentials cover that. But because he contracts on behalf of other officers to provide services at the Center, Walsh is required by state law to have a license.

He does not have one.

In other words, Walsh and the Center on Halsted appear to be circumventing state law while strictly enforcing it.

"If he's hiring people to do security work and sending them out to jobs, he needs a license," said Sue Hofer, a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. "We have no record of any security license for Walsh or Walsh Security."

Licenses are important because they allow the state to set standards and ensure proper training. When applying to become a private security contractor, licensees must undergo fingerprinting and FBI background checks that are sent to all 50 states.

In October, the most recent month for which data was available, non-compliant nurses, barbers, doctors, massage therapists, roofing contractors and veterinarians were disciplined by the state. One private security contractor, for instance, had a license suspended for not paying child support.

In October, Brian Richardson, then-spokesman for Center on Halsted, said: "We contract out with Walsh [Security]. We pay them a set amount. Part of the contract includes details of where that money goes, how it's being used and what services we get. But that [contract or license] we just won't be able to share with you."

In recent days, Windy City Times emailed Center on Halsted CEO Modesto "Tico" Valle and Officer Walsh a list of questions seeking clarification. Among the questions was how the Center pays its guards — individually or through Walsh Security.

Neither Walsh nor the Center have commented, despite repeated requests. Walsh offered to meet, but did not follow up with plans.

This reporter spoke with Walsh at the dedication of the Halsted Street Legacy Walk in October, and he assured me that he had the proper paperwork in order. I followed up by phone a few weeks later to see if he'd looked into acquiring a license and he pointed me to the Secretary of State's website, which lists Walsh Security, LLC as a business.

Meanwhile, the website for the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations, which handles licenses, shows no record of Walsh or Walsh Security.

Center security guards frequently wear hats and sweatshirts that identify them as "Police." This appears to violate the Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, Fingerprint Vendor, and Locksmith Act of 2004.

This Illinois state law stipulates that for private security contractors, "no license holder or employee of a licensed agency shall imply in any manner that the person is an employee or agent of a governmental entity." This includes displaying badges or wearing uniforms that use the words 'police', 'sheriff', 'highway patrol', 'trooper' or 'law enforcement.'

There is also a Chicago Police Department order that says police cannot work "when the secondary employer would require the Department member be represented as a Chicago Police Officer or wear the prescribed police uniform," unless written consent is provided by the Superintendent of Police.

Officer Jose Rios, the Chicago Police Department LGBT liaison, used to work for Walsh as a security guard at Center on Halsted. Rios stopped because he wanted his relationship with young people to be "clearly defined."

Rios said that by hiring off-duty police to work as security, the Center lowers the number of incidents referred to the police department.

He shared a story from one of his last days at the Center: An intoxicated young person became belligerent, knocking over chairs and swearing at people. Rios said a security guard who is also a policeman might be more discerning in this type of situation.

"Police officers are gonna be like, 'Look, you could have these people arrested. [But instead] let's put them out for a day, let them calm down and cool off,'" he said.

Generation Halsted is an eight-week series that seeks to capture youth voices not typically represented in Windy City Times and other media. The young people portrayed have many housing situations, gender identities and sexual orientations. The series looks primarily, but not exclusively, at Boystown, where an influx of young LGBTQ people has been a source of controversy. Windy City Times will continue to explore the issues raised here beyond this series.

Look for WindyCityTimes on www.youtube.com/windycitytimes and www.vimeo.com/windycitytimes or click the "YOUTH" tab at www.WindyCityMediaGroup.com .


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

New art by Erik R. Sosa on display at Sleep In Feb. 24 2017-02-17 - "No Paint Left Behind," a one-night art exhibition of new paintings by Erik R. Sosa will be unveiled Friday, Feb. 24 at the ...


Gay News

GLSEN to DeVos: Protect LGBTQ youth protections from Department of Ed. cuts 2017-02-16 - NEW YORK ( February 16, 2017 ) — In a recent interview with a Michigan radio program, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos telegraphed ...


Gay News

Human Rights Watch plans Kiki screening, panel Mar. 10 2017-02-16 - The Human Rights Watch Chicago 2017 Film Series, in partnership with Black Cinema House, presents the film Kiki on Mar. 10, followed by ...


Gay News

LGBTA college confab at Navy Pier on Feb. 17-19 2017-02-15 - The Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Ally College Conference ( MBLGTACC ) will take place Feb. 17-19 at Chicago's Navy Pier, and ...


Gay News

Music, art, advocacy: Sleep In to benefit 13 youth homeless agencies Feb. 24 2017-02-15 - Chicago's youth-serving homeless agencies, shelters and drop-in centers will benefit from the Out in the Open Sleep In Friday night, Feb. 24 in ...


Gay News

Covenant House opens in Chicago 2017-02-14 - Covenant House, an international youth homeless support agency, has opened its first new location in 17 years, choosing Chicago to expand its brand. ...


Gay News

Casting call for boy in Spielberg film Feb. 12 2017-02-10 - Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment is hosting open casting calls for the role of Edgardo in the film The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. An ...


Gay News

Will U.S. DoE protect trans youth, young adults from discrimination? 2017-02-09 - Yesterday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Her confirmation places in jeopardy Guidance that protects ...


Gay News

Sleep In, music, art, advocacy to benefit 13 youth homeless agencies Feb. 24 2017-02-09 - The Out in the Open Sleep In Friday night, Feb. 24 in Chicago's South Loop and Chicago's youth-serving homeless agencies, shelters and drop-in ...


Gay News

Estimate: 150K trans youth in U.S. 2017-02-08 - An estimated 0.7 percent of U.S. youth ages 13 to 17—or 150,000 youth—identify as transgender, according to a new study released by The ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.